And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Shifts

So there's something I've been tracking for a little while now. Our Russian friends have been changing and adjusting their tactics. Since the beginning of the New Year, and accelerated in the last month, it appears the trolls have changed their composition.

Since the 2016 election we're now in stage 2 (or 4, depending on how you count these things) of operations. Without doing a deeper analysis their nominal composition was about 70/30 conservative (Trump)/liberal (mostly Bernie Bro). Our Russian friends now seem to be putting more resources into the liberal side, developing histories and credentials for the coming mid-term elections.

Again, without doing an analysis, it feels like the composition is roughly 50/50. It looks like the Russians are either playing the odds, or it's a concerted effort to bring more liberals into office. Doing so, while still pushing Trump, will lead to the instability and weakening of the West and the diminishment of the US (they believe) which are their goals.

There are, however, two things working against them. First of all, liberals don't bite on fake news as much as conservatives (although with the election of Trump it appears that more liberals are willing to believe conspiracy theories, it has to do with being out of power and influence and wanting to believe the worst about the opposition). The second part is poor operational controls and old dogs not learning new tricks (at least not fast enough). So for many of the social media accounts the profiles and pinned posts appear to be nominally liberal leaning (or using keywords), however their day to day posting really hasn't changed. For now it's still fairly easy to look behind the front. Old habits are hard to break, and their metrics goals haven't changed.

Or it could be a move to divide and demoralize the left. A play to drive the narrative. But I don't think so. I'm more included to believe their motivation is less ideologically based and more a power play.

I expect several briefings in your guys' futures. Just saying.

The landscape of the battlefield is changing. Their goals remain the same. It'll be interesting to see if they bring their kompromat into the open in an effort to weaken Trump earlier than what I expected (sometime in August/September 2020). It'll also be interesting to see if there's fallout from this switch. Although to be honest, the conservative side of the equations was pretty much self-sustaining, if somewhat isolated. I expect they'll continue to play both sides trying to point us at each other (like they did in 2016). It's also my personal view that they misunderstand the liberal mindset and our somewhat schizophrenic outlook as it doesn't play well into standard planning.

Also while some of us play the "who is more pure", it's not as much of a thing on the left as it is on the right. At this point they appear to be using the same playbook and just plugging in different words.

I don't give this much chance of success. At least not until they get better at this game.

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